Making any film is an achievement. It’s something that nearly always happens against the odds, with people having to make a gargantuan effort just to get something in the can. However there are undoubtedly movies where you can’t help but feel it would have been better if they’d just invested the budget in the stock market rather than using it to make a film, and saved everyone a whole lot of trouble. Sadly Hijacked is one of those movies.
Paul Ross (Randy Couture) is a burly guy who’s determined to take down a mysterious criminal/terrorist organisation called The Tribe, which funds itself through drugs and illegal arms dealings. He becomes even more single-minded in destroying them after a set-up leaves many of his colleagues dead. Ross learns that The Tribe’s next target may be one of the world’s richest men, Bruce Lieb (Craig Fairbrass), which leads him the magnate’s private jumbo jet. The plane is hijacked by the terrorists mid-flight, with Ross determined to get revenge, protect his ex-girlfriend (who conveniently is also on the flight), and find out who’s really behind The Tribe. But exactly who can he trust?
It sounds like a decent set-up for an action thriller, but pretty much everything about the movie screams cheap and somewhat amateurish. For a start the acting is atrocious. Even people like Prison Break’s Dominic Purcell and CSI: Miami’s Holt McCallany, who’ve proven their worth elsewhere, come across hammy and rather am-dram here. The only one to come out with their reputation intact is Randy Couture, and that’s largely because his main job is to look baddass and beat people up rather than actually try to act. Even there he’s let down though, as the editing and camera angles often mean you’re left wondering exactly what’s going on in the action scenes.
From the sets to the plot developments, it’s like nobody has really thought about what’s happening in the film and assumes any old thing will do. One bright spot comes from the sight of Vinnie Jones trying to be James Bond, but that lasts about five seconds until he opens his mouth to spout some dreadful dialogue in an amateurish way.
This sort of film comes with low expectations anyway, but I think that what’s most galling about Hijacked is that it seems to think that simply saying it’s an action thriller and having recognisable faces in the cast is enough to say it’s done its job. As a result, nobody seemed to think there was any need to put any effort whatsoever into the movie, as long as they all got their paycheque. That’s probably unfair and everyone tried their hardest, but there are few film I can remember where it appears to have set its bar so low not due to the fact it couldn’t be better, but because no one is putting the effort in.
One positive is that the picture clarity is decent, even if the sharpness on the digital cameras was perhaps dialled a bit too high, giving everything a slightly cheap TV feel. It’s bright, with very crisp edges though, even if that doesn’t really help make the movie more entertaining.
Overall Verdict: Hijacked was never going to be good, but to make it this bad is almost an achievement in itself. It’s may be an action thriller but the main sensation it conveys is tedium.
Reviewer: Tim Isaac